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What is the best way to get guardianship or custody of a 17 year old whose parents are both deceased?

Reynoldsburg, OH |

I am planning to get guardianship or custody of a 17 year old whose parents are both deceased and whose closest living relative lives in New York. The girl also has a child that is almost 1 year old. I am the child's aunt on his father's side and they are currently staying with me. When the girl's mother passed away she went to live with her aunt in Florida and recently moved back here to Ohio and was staying with non relatives. The only claim to custody and/or guardianship to this child is a piece of paper that was supposed to have been signed by her mother before she passed away stating that she was giving the 17 year old and her son to the aunt. The aunt then typed and signed a paper in Florida giving the non relative in Ohio "legal guardianship" and sent it to be notarized in Ohio.

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Attorney answers 1


Generally in Ohio, it's not as simple as merely signing a piece of paper. If the 17 year old wants to live with you file a motion for guardianship in Probate Court. The 17 year old will have an opportunity to say whom she wants as her guardian. Keep in mind that guardianship only lasts until she turns 18.

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